Late Night Entertainment


Hey All, it’s ERP from ER stories doing a quick guest post.

The myriad of ways that the staff entertains themselves late at night when there is a lull in the action is boundless. In fact, White Coat has blogged about this.

There is the “Obituary Game” made famous on Nurse Jackie but widely known to have been stolen from Nurse K.  (reading the Obits and taking bets on who the deceased was and what the cause of death was based on their name)

There was “Cane Ball” which we used to play in the ambulance bay in residency (basically stick ball using a cane and a ball of tape).

Saline battles with pre-filled non-sterile flush syringes. (They squirt pretty damn far!)

Recently, we had a sort of “What would it take” game between some docs and PA’s.  Of course it rapidly degenerated into a sexual theme.  Sort of “how much would it take for you to sleep with so and so?” or “Would you sleep with so and so, if….?”   Basically we found quite a variation in tolerances between us.

It mostly revolved around a fairly revolting surgeon at our hospital who is both unattractive physically, lecherous and creepy, and grossly unethical. What we discovered was that the amount required by the women was a minimum of 500,000 dollars providing he wore a paper bag over  his head!

A variation of this was “Would you Rather?” where you have to make a choice between two very unpleasant options – basically the lesser of two evils.  Some choices we were given:

Would you rather fracture your penis or your femur? (I chose the femur)

Would you rather get pancreatic cancer or glioblastoma? (I chose GBM)

Would you rather get a chest tube or a DPL with no Lidocaine? (I chose the DPL)

And of course the old classic, Would you rather be beautiful and stupid or brilliant and hideous?  Man, that’s a tough one!

Anyone else have any good late night time-killing games?


  1. midwest woman on

    found a handwriting analysis book at work (have no idea why it was there) and we looked at physicians’ handwriting…yikes..there’s some real latent psychosis out there.

  2. Similar to “what would it take” is FMK, which stands for [fornicate], marry or kill. Name three individuals. The player must decide which one with whom he/she would have one-time intimacy, which one he/she would marry, and which one he/she would kill. All three options must be used; one option per named individual.

    Conscious foley or conscious intubation? I was surprised at a (male) friend who would choose intubation over a foley, every time.

  3. The obit game played the Nurse K way is loading up an online obit site with just a list of names (so you can’t see the full obit unless you click). You look at all the names, write down ages based on name alone and then click on the names, find the actual ages, and then find the total difference between the total guessed age and total actual age at the time of death. This is of course the most formal version…You can just say names to each other and have the other one guess the age too.

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  5. You can always whip out the DSM-IV and see what sorts of crazy you are. I might fall under ADD manic depressive sociopath with homicidal tendencies. Bonus points for doing it in front of waiting patients.

  6. Working 3rd shift at IHOP in college we used to stack things. Salt shakers, ketchup bottles, you can even do knife and fork sculptures three or four levels high if you’re willing to bend the tines a little. My all time favorite though, and the one I was best at, was sugar packet stacking. You just crimp the ends into a V shape and stack them almost like playing cards. You don’t get many levels because the paper has very little strength, but if you bend them with some consistency you can still make a pretty impressive structure.

    Lousy job, but always some of the most interesting people working it.

  7. Racing portable xray machines down the hall was always a blast- and betting on them. Just tape the switches, hang ortho weights on the bars and place them side by side in a long hallway and let go !
    That or make up ” Triage Bingo ” cards. List key words or phrases like “Norco”, fibromyalgia, “I dropped my vicodin in the toilet”, “I just moved here”, “I’m allergic to Toradol” “he’s congested” and see if you can get a card bingo on just one patient!

  8. Last winter during our heavy snows, we went sled-riding down the sloping ambulance driveway, using our “smooth mover” boards. (They make a great toboggan).
    And during construction of our new ER last year, we curled up inside those huge round cardboard concrete forms and rolled in them down the same driveway.

  9. Pour a small amount of salt on the table and balance something on the salt. Like the salt-shaker on its edge. See who can get their salt-shaker balanced first.

    Any of those “minute to win it” games, especially the one about moving the cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands.

    Free throw contest using the trash can and some wadded up papers. This is more challenging if you move the trash can away from the “backboard.”

    And finally, I have to put in a plug for rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock.

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